Olympus E-5

Olympus E-5 front
  • 12MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 3" Fully Articulated Display
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1/8000s Max Shutter
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 800g - 143 x 117 x 75mm
  • Revealed February 2011
  • Replaced the Olympus E-3
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Olympus E-5 summary

Olympus E-5 is Olympus's Advanced DSLR camera first launched on February of 2011. It comes with a 12 MegaPixel, CMOS Four Thirds sized sensor and has a max resolution of 4032 x 3024.

Olympus released this camera as a way to update the older Olympus E-3 (Read Full Comparison)

The E-5 stands at #48 out of 92 in Advanced DSLR cameras and overall #325 out of 1459 for digital cameras in our database. You should try out our Smart camera search to get camera rankings based on your customized criteria.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

Here is a graph of multiple factors used in the rating system.

Olympus E-5 family

The Olympus E-5 comes with a history of related digital cameras. Down below, you can take a look at all past and current models as well as main specs.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Olympus-E-5 front thumbnailOlympus E-512MPFour Thirds5.0 fps2011
Olympus-E-30 front thumbnailOlympus E-30
E-5 vs E-30
12MPFour Thirds5.0 fps2009
Instagram's $20 billion Ad success
Olympus-E-3 front thumbnailOlympus E-3
E-5 vs E-3
10MPFour Thirds5.0 fps2008
Olympus-E-510 front thumbnailOlympus E-510
E-5 vs E-510
10MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2007
Olympus-E-330 front thumbnailOlympus E-330
E-5 vs E-330
7MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2006
Olympus-E-500 front thumbnailOlympus E-500
E-5 vs E-500
8MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2005
Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
Olympus-E-300 front thumbnailOlympus E-300
E-5 vs E-300
8MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2005
Olympus-E-1 front thumbnailOlympus E-1
E-5 vs E-1
5MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2003

Olympus E-5 Pros and Cons

Below is a shortlist of good and bad points of the Olympus E-5 based on criterias which are generally considered crucial in a camera.

above average minimum ISO (100)
built-in flash
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
builtin Top display
decent sensor size (Four Thirds)
focusing manually
fully articulated screen
great max shutter speed (1/8,000s)
includes face detect autofocus
includes HDMI socket
includes microphone socket
nice clear screen (920 k dots)
nice screen size (3 inch)
screen is selfie friendly
sensor has phase detect autofocus
supports RAW files
switch lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
two card slots
weather proof
does not have headphone socket
does not have Timelapse mode
low MP (12 megapixels)
painfully slow continuous shooting (5.0 frames per second)
video res low (1280 x 720 resolution)
Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month

Olympus E-5 Sensor details

The Olympus E-5 features the TruePic V+ processor. The sensor specification on the Olympus E-5 is 17.3mm x 13mm (Four Thirds). The 225 mm² sensor has the ability to capture 4032 x 3024 pixels and aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9. The camera boasts Image Stabilization (Sensor based). Optical stabilization is better than digital stabilization since the latter may lead to cropping.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

The CMOS sensor boasts 12 megapixels and gives a native ISO range of 100 to 6400. RAW photos are saved which means that you have wider margin for error.

The graphic underneath illustrates the E-5's sensor dimensions when compared to other common sizes. The E-5 sensor comes with a crop factor of 2.1 and is highlighted in green.

Olympus E-5 sensor size 400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

To get a sense of specific aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Olympus E-5 dimensions

Olympus E-5 is 1.76 pounds (800 gr or 28.22 oz) and features exterior size of 143mm x 117mm x 75mm (5.6" x 4.6" x 3.0"). The weight of typical Advanced DSLR camera is 776 gr and the Olympus E-5 is very much the same in comparison with other rivals.

Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos

Here is a picture of the Olympus E-5 besides a soft drink to help you have a feel for its scale.

Olympus E-5 dimensions scale

The top view under will provide the button layout on the E-5.

Olympus E-5 topview buttons dials

Olympus E-5 Lens specs

The E-5 uses the Micro Four Thirds mount and has 162 lenses that are available. Below is a few of the lenses we have in our database which will fit the E-5.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Sigma-56mm-F1.4-DC-DN-C-Micro-Four-Thirds lensSigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN C56mmf/1.40g
Sigma-105mm-F2.8-EX-DG-Macro-Four-Thirds lensSigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG Macro105mmf/2.8 460g
Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
Panasonic-Lumix-G-Vario-HD-12-32mm-F3.5-5.6-Mega-OIS lensPanasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS12-32mmf/3.5-5.6 70g
Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-ED-25mm-F1.2-Pro lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 25mm F1.2 Pro25mmf/1.2410g
Panasonic-Lumix-G-Vario-14-140mm-F3.5-5.6-ASPH.-Power-O.I.S lensPanasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. Power O.I.S14-140mmf/3.5-5.6 265g
Samyang-85mm-F1.4-Aspherical-IF-Four-Thirds lensSamyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF85mmf/1.4 539g
Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
Panasonic-Lumix-G-Vario-7-14mm-F4-ASPH lensPanasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH7-14mmf/4.0 300g
Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Olympus E-5 Connectivity

The E-5 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras which include NFC or Bluetooth support are able to be used wirelessly via smartphones. You will be able to send photos and oftentimes alter camera settings without connecting physically to the camera.

Certain applications even give a Liveview and hit the shutter when you are not close to the camera. If the camera has a HDMI out, it can easily be attached to an external display. The majority of cameras enable you to charge the battery pack using the USB socket.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Olympus E-5 Video specs

The max video resolution on the Olympus E-5 is 1280 x 720 and it can shoot in Motion JPEG format. 720p is low by today's standards. You should really strive for at least 1080p resolution for decent video. While the camera features a microphone socket, it is unfortunately missing a headphone socket which means that you won't be able to check your audio levels.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

Olympus E-5 Weather Sealing

Olympus E-5 features weather proofing making it a excellent pick to use for tricky places. This can be particularly handy if you are uncertain about the elements you might face for outdoor photography.

Olympus E-5 Display and Viewfinder

The Olympus E-5 comes with a 3" fully articulated display screen supporting a resolution of 920k dots.

It features a selfie friendly display to get self portraits and group photos if necessary. Unfortunately the display screen is not a touch screen. The E-5 also comes with a Top display so you're able to instantly checkout your settings.

Olympus E-5 screen and viewfinder Instagram's $20 billion Ad success

The View Finder specs regarding Olympus E-5 are the following:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • ViewFinder Coverage 100 percent
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.58x

Viewfinders are rather useful for sunny outdoor situations which can easily make the camera display washed out and difficult to view.

Olympus E-5 Shutter specs

Olympus E-5 continuous shooting rate is 5.0 frames per second. The maximum shutter speed is 1/8000s.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

Olympus E-5 Flash and Hot shoe specs

Olympus E-5 boasts both built in flash and external flash support. The highest flash sync is 1/250s.

Olympus E-5 Autofocus specs

Olympus E-5 boasts both Phase Detect Autofocus and Contrast Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot more snappier and accurate when compared to Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera comes with Face detect which makes it useful for people photography.

It comes with 11 focus points to choose from. Olympus E-5 features manual focus if required for low light situations or you require more precise focus control.

Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month

Olympus E-5 Battery life

The battery pack (BLM-5) in the Olympus E-5 is designed to last for 870 photos with respect to the CIPA requirements which is similar to its competition. The usual Advanced DSLR camera battery life is 909. Nikon D780 comes with the maximum (2260) battery life for this kind of cameras.

Following is a listing of Advanced DSLR cameras that have the highest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Nikon-D780 front thumbnailNikon D780
E-5 vs D780
2260 yesnoyes
Nikon-D850 front thumbnailNikon D850
E-5 vs D850
1840 yesyesyes
400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
Nikon-Df front thumbnailNikon Df
E-5 vs Df
1400 yesnono
Canon-EOS-90D front thumbnailCanon 90D
E-5 vs 90D
1300 yesnoyes
Nikon-D500 front thumbnailNikon D500
E-5 vs D500
1240 yesyesyes

Olympus E-5 for specific styles of photography

The following graph gives a outline of the Olympus E-5 for specific styles of photography. To learn more, have a look at the specific section underneath.

Olympus E-5 Portrait photography features

The Olympus E-5 receives a rating of 60 which is decent, meaning that it is fairly appropriate to use for portrait photography. Photographing portrait images favors heavily to sensor specs, RAW support in addition to the potential to utilize off-camera flash.

Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
you can focus manually
good sensor size (Four Thirds)
features face detection focusing
saves RAW formats
MP count low (12 megapixels)

Street photography with Olympus E-5

With a above average score of 71, the Olympus E-5 is a very decent pick to buy for street photography. A very good street photography camera gives a fine balance of image quality plus portability.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
screen articulates
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
supports RAW files
weather proof

Olympus E-5 Sports photography factors

A average sports photography points tally of 59 means the Olympus E-5 is reasonably suited for photographing sports. A camera needs to have great autofocus and shutter speeds for sports photography.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
maximum shutter speed is high (1/8,000s)
image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is good (Four Thirds)
weather proofing
supports phase detect AF
max frames per second very slow (5.0 frames/s)
sensor resolution low (12 megapixels)

Olympus E-5 Travel photography highlights

Size is pretty important when picking a camera for travel. In general, the Olympus E-5 gets a modest 56 as a travelling camera which is fairly adequate to purchase for your journeys.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
environment sealing
has built in flash
selfie friendly screen
lack of Timelapse recording
megapixel count low (12MP)

Olympus E-5 as a Landscape photography camera

If you're looking to pick a digital camera for landscape pictures, the most significant factor is going to be image quality. The Olympus E-5 with it's nice rating of 65 as a landscape camera is a good pick compared to its competitors.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
manual focus
change lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
screen size is decent (3 inch)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
decent sensor size (Four Thirds)
delivers RAW files
weather proof
2 card slots
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
lack of Time Lapse recording

Vlogging with Olympus E-5

A camera for vlogging preferably should have a articulating screen, microphone port and preferably image stabilization. Considering all things, the Olympus E-5 is a good option as a vlog camera as it receives a very good score of 64.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
screen is selfie friendly
image stabilization (Sensor based)
includes face detect focusing
has mic port
video resolution low (1280 x 720 pxls)

Olympus E-5 Alternatives

If you are shopping for replacements to the E-5, here is a list of the top placed cameras that fall into the family of Advanced DSLR.

The diagram below provides you a bird's eye view of the E-5 versus it's top ranked rivals listed above.

There are more cameras you may check out as alternate options. To go through a detailed comparison, click the "compare" link.

Instagram's $20 billion Ad success


General Information
Olympus E-5
Advanced DSLR
Physical type
Mid-size SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Processor Chip
TruePic V+
Sensor size
Four Thirds
Sensor measurements
17.3 x 13mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
12 megapixels
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
4:3 and 16:9
Max resolution
4032 x 3024
RAW photos
Max native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
Touch to focus
Continuous AF
Single AF
Tracking AF
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
AF multi area
Live view AF
Face detect AF
Contract detect AF
Phase detect AF
Number of focus points
Cross focus points
Lens mount
Micro Four Thirds
Total lenses
Crop factor
Display type
Fully Articulated
Display size
3 inch
Display resolution
920k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch friendly
Display tech
HyperCrystal transmissive LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
100 percent
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Min shutter speed
60 seconds
Max shutter speed
1/8000 seconds
Continuous shutter rate
5.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Set WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range
18.00 m (at ISO 200)
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Fill-in
External flash
White balance bracketing
Max flash synchronize
1/250 seconds
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Max video resolution
Video file format
Motion JPEG
Microphone port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
800 grams (1.76 lbs)
143 x 117 x 75mm (5.6" x 4.6" x 3.0")
Battery life
870 pictures
Type of battery
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse feature
Type of storage
Compact Flash (Type I or II)/SD/SDHC/SDXC
Card slots
Pricing at release